Whether you’re looking forward to BBQing, leisurely afternoons spent kicking back on the patio or exploring all your favourite trails on your bike, we know you’ve been waiting months to get outside and enjoy what Canada has to offer this spring. From how to clean and prep your BBQ to how to find the best E-mobility vehicle for you, Everything Awaits at Canadian Tire.
E-bikes are emerging as one of the most trendy and in-demand modes of transportation and there’s good reason(s) for their soaring popularity. If you’ve never heard of them, E-bikes are essentially bikes with a lightweight electric motor attached and is activated as you pedal.
While some enjoy a good old fashion bike using only the power of your leg muscles, an E-bike can be an excellent alternative for someone who might not be able to physically exert themselves, or if you’re looking for a different way to see your city or the gorgeous spring scenes around you. E-bikes have truly made outdoor cycling accessible to all — and more and more families are looking to get on board with the trend.
If you’ve seen them zipping around and have been contemplating bringing one into your life, there are a number of factors to consider and weigh out to decide what works for you and your family.
Is E-mobility for you?
Before deciding on what E-bike, E-scooter or other electric mobility device to get, it's important to determine if buying one is actually right for you.
E-bikes are bikes with a battery-powered assist that's activated when pedalling. A small motor engages and gives you a boost, so you can cruise over hills without exhausting yourself.
Electric bicycles are versatile and allow you to easily carry cargo and avoid parking and traffic. Plus, unlike cars, they are great if you're looking to be a bit more environmentally friendly.
If you're wondering if they still count as exercise, rest assured that riding an electric bike isn't cheating: you still burn calories, as you still must pedal. It's like riding a regular bike, just a bit easier.
While electric mobility devices are great for leisure, there's also been an increase in city dwellers using them for an easy, stress-free commute to and from work. Unlike a typical bike, you don’t need to change clothes or clean up when you arrive at work, because you don’t have to break as much of a sweat — but you also don't spend your commute stuck in a car or on public transit.
Another plus? Compared to owning a car, you’ll save money on maintenance, insurance and gas. Think about the added health benefits from getting more exercise, too.
How to pick the right model
E-bikes are designed differently for varying purposes. If you foresee a lot of rough terrain and uphill cycling, you might want to consider an E-bike with a mid-drive motor. This type of motor is situated between the pedals so you don’t feel the additional weight while the gears work to propel you uphill. The Raleigh Getaway Men's Electric Bike is a great mid-drive motor E-Bike for all your off roading adventures.
Hub drive motors have their benefits too. They require less maintenance and aren’t quite as noisy as mid-drive motors. A hub drive motor is best for leisure riding and is the most common type of motor you’ll find on an E-Bike. We highly recommend the Junction Simplify Women's E-Bike, 700C if you’re planning to use it for everyday riding on flat roads.
Range and battery life
How far do you plan to take your bike on a single trip and on what type of terrain? That question would relate to range — and is an important consideration when deciding on the most suitable bike.
E-bike batteries come in different ranges depending on speed and terrain. If you’re just using it daily for leisurely rides, a battery may last you a week and for up to 100 miles. On the flipside, if you’re using your E-Bike to travel up and down steep hills or differing terrain, it may only last a fraction of that distance.
With modern day E-bikes, you can expect to go 10 to 80 kilometres before it needs a recharge, depending on the size of the battery and how much power the motor draws. Other factors, such as pedal-assist level, rider’s weight, cargo weight, wind, hills and road surface have an impact.
We could all use a little help once in a while — and that’s where features like pedal assist and throttle come in handy. Pedal assist gives you a bit of a push but still requires you to exert some energy by peddling. Throttle on the other hand is great for the tail end of a long haul bike ride when you just can’t peddle anymore. Some E-bikes are even equipped with both features.
Age, restrictions and safety
In Canada, provincial laws vary around E-bikes, so make sure you check into your province's rulings around them before making a purchase — especially if you're thinking of getting them for younger members of your family. For example, in Alberta, E-bikes are classified as "power-assisted bicycles" and can be operated by anyone 12 or older (who must be wearing a helmet). But in Ontario, an operator needs to be at least 16. Make sure you consult local bylaws to learn what rules and regulations are in place for your region.
As with regular bikes, safety is a key part of E-mobility. Like with any bike or scooter, you'll want to make sure you're outfitted with a properly-fitting helmet — check your province's e-mobility guidelines for any specific rules and regulations. You'll also want to make sure to get a bell or horn for your bike, especially if you'll be using it for commuting. And if you you'll be riding at night, you will also want to make sure you have lights and reflectors.
Electric scooters vs. E-bikes
You could say electric scooters are the E-bike’s kid sibling. So when should you opt for one over an E-bike? If you don't have much storage space, a scooter is a great option, as it's much smaller and more portable than a bike. They’re perfectly suited to busy urban cities due to its maneuverability and they don’t take up nearly as much road space as their larger bike counterpart. Similarly to E-bikes, they're great for commuting — and can save you time and money.
If you’re looking for a reliable scooter that can get you quickly to class or work without breaking a sweat, you might consider the Segway Ninebot MAX G30P Electric KickScooter. This luxury scooter, which has a range of 65 kms, features bluetooth connectivity, large 10" pneumatic tires for a comfortable ride on most types of terrain and can reach speeds of 30km/h.
E-Bikes are generally a more pricey investment than your run-of-the-mill bicycle. A quality bike will usually run you anywhere from $1,500-$3,000. That makes it even more important to take the time to weigh which model is best for you before making a purchase.